Sara and Joe are some of our best friends and neighbors. Wonderful movie-watchers, concert-goers, and extremely reliable when you text them on vacation because you left your alarm on and it’s been going off for hours and the cats are upset, or there’s an invasion of ants in your kitchen. We adore them. Geoff and I photographed their wedding back in 2015 (!) and then we ran into Joe in the parking lot of Harris Teeter at like, 10pm some random weeknight a year later and then we all started hanging out. They’re good people and we love them. And now they have Julian, a toddler who is constantly competing for Cutest Baby in the Land, and does so by growing his eyes bigger every day. He is… INSANELY cute. It’s like if you were to ask someone to draw a very cute toddler, it would just be a picture of Julian. Julian is obsessed with cats (the only way to be) and spends his time frantically chasing after his older feline siblings, Cloud and Usagi, while calling after them in a comically high-pitched voice. It’s my favorite thing to witness. The cats aren’t sure how to handle this yet. Max the dog, however, dutifully follows Julian around, waiting for him to drop a bit of food on the ground that he can pick up. Max is one of my very favorite dogs, and was the first dog to ever cuddle with me. He still cuddles with me during movies and it continues to be a great honor. I love all the people and animals that live in this house, and it was so fun to photograph them all in one space. Thank you guys – for turning off my alarm and for being great friends.

I adored photographing this family last year when they were just a couple with a fab 2-year-old who ate two popsicles at the same time while wearing awesome dinosaur shoes. Now they’re a family of four! Skye and Rui just welcomed their newborn daughter Bennett into the world a mere handful of days before Tye was set to turn 3. I was on hand with them this particular weekend to help document all the family who flew in to celebrate Tye’s birthday, as well as to snap a few shots of Bennett, and Skye’s sister Ashley’s pregnancy. It was a ton of fun meeting all their family members! They’re such a supportive group of people. Skye and Rui will be moving out-of-state shortly to be closer to them all, which breaks my heart, but I’m so glad that I got the chance to meet and work with them during this time in their lives. Tye is a smart, hilarious little kid (who sang birthday songs in multiple languages while I was there!) who wants everyone to know that he’s 3. He also loves car washes so much that he burst into tears after receiving a mini one as a gift. He had a joyous birthday surrounded by those who love him, and who could ask for more? Thank you to Skye and Rui for having me in your lives these past two years, and I wish you nothing but love and success in your new home!

You guyyys, meet Beth and Darrin! Beth is the absolute mastermind behind Early Bird Photo and also serves as the photographer for Chapel Hill, Durham, and Chatham Magazines because she’s brilliant. She also sews (she made the kickass dress with pockets she wears in the second half of this session!) and reads and likes to tell you about their dogs and is a total joy. She’s outgoing and easy to talk to and there was a lot of lamenting on both of our parts about the struggles and joys of growing your hair out, cutting it back off again, only to grow it out once more. Darrin, meanwhile, likes to ferment stuff. He ferments a lot of things! Apparently there’s a garlic habanero sauce that is fermented that sounds like I might be tempted to eat it with a spoon but then that would also be a mistake. He also enjoys gardening and cars.

They have two dogs: Willow the Sweet and Fearful, and Rooney the Cutest Dog Butt. Willow spent literally 100% of her time with us actively running away in fear or hiding behind her parents and shaking. We photographed her from far away, did not make eye contact, and did not approach, but it was still SHEER TERROR and she hated every minute of it (hope she doesn’t leave a Yelp review). Rooney, however, is indeed the Cutest Dog Butt, and is fluffy and small and extroverted. He was not fearful despite being a tenth of Willow’s size.

We documented this joyful family of 4 together at all of their favorite spots around town to celebrate Beth and Darrin’s 6+ years together, and now we have four (well, maybe three) new friends. Thanks to Pie Pushers, Letters Bookstore, and Bull McCabe’s for permission to shoot some photos inside!